Botswana fly in safari | Tours, Costs & Holidays

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Couples or groups with time constraints can make the most of their Botswana wildlife adventure on a fly in safari tour. Botswana is well equipped to cater for such park hopping activities and ensure visitors see the big five animals in action.

What is a fly-in safari?

If you choose to fly from one park to another while on safari, this is called a fly-in safari. This is the perfect way to explore different parts of country without struggling through dusty or potholed roads. You also get to see much more in less time.

Planes can range from small 20-40 seater jets to 2-4 seater prop planes and everything in between. Helicopters are also on offer now for transfers, though they are used more often for scenic flights.

Why go on a fly-in safari?

Fly-in safaris are recommended for those with shorter safari timeframes and if it fits their budget.

Since most wildlife safaris take place via 4×4 vehicles, it can get tiresome to travel all day from one park to another, only to spend the majority of the next day inside a vehicle on a game drive.

Where do fly-in safaris begin?

Fly-in safaris usually begin in the port of your international arrival. For example, if you were going on a 3-Day Masai Mara fly-in safari in Kenya, you would take an international flight to Nairobi.

Depending on your flight arrival time, we would either transfer you to Wilson airport, where you would board your flight. The plane would drop you off in an airstrip directly within the Masai Mara, closest to your lodge or camp.

Most airstrips in game parks are not tarred, but dirt tracks. A camp representative would meet you at the airstrip, and would take you to your camp, most likely doing a game drive en-route.

After 2 nights of bliss in the Mara, you would be transferred back to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi and international flight home.

Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta, is the country’s biggest hub for charter flights. Visitors are shuttled between lodges by small aircraft (mostly six to 12 seaters).

Are fly-in safaris expensive?

The answer is both yes and no. Depending on your location, if you are on a private safari travelling in a group of 4, it may be cheaper to hire your own vehicle and guide. If you are only two travellers, it may be cheaper to do a fly-in safari.

The price of a Botswana safari, much less a fly-in safari is difficult to estimate given the cost can depend on so many factors including the selection of accommodation, flights, transport, meals, duration of stay and more.

Prices for a Botswana fly-in safari start at around US$500 per person per night in the low season in mid-range lodgings, but go up to about US$1500 per person per night for Okavango Delta luxury accommodation in the high season.

When choosing top-end accommodation the rate can be more than US$2000 per person per night.

When should I go on a Botswana fly in safari?

The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season between May and October, when you can expect warm, sunny days (22°C to 35°C) and chilly nights.

This is also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels Botswana is famed for, ideal for taking photos and wildlife viewing on these shorter plane journeys between the various Botswana national parks.

Do I need to charter a plane on a fly-in safari in Botswana?

Your tour operator will organize any charter flights you require, and they are usually part of your safari package.

To fly to other parks or to remote lodges within the Delta you need chartered flights. To keep down costs, operators tend to use scheduled chartered flights that are shared with other guests.

Flights are short (about an hour), but you can expect to make a few stops to pick up or drop off other visitors along the way.

What are the luggage restrictions on a fly-in safari in Botswana?

For safety reasons, luggage restrictions on fly-in safaris in Botswana are very strict. Always check with your operator for details. In most cases your total allowance is 20kg (44lb) inclusive of hand luggage.

No hard suitcases are allowed as they are difficult to stow in the limited hold. Instead, bring soft medium-sized duffle bags without wheels. Most upmarket lodges catering to fly-in safaris in the Okavango offer free laundry, so all you need is a few outfits of easy-wear, quick-dry clothing in muted colors.

If your Botswana fly-in safari is part of a larger trip and you’ll be carrying clothes and other items, you can ask your operator or hotel about leaving behind some luggage at the start and end points of your tour.

Sample Botswana fly in safari itineraries

This is a sample Botswana fly in safari tours taking couples and groups to the most beautiful regions of the country.

6-day Okavango Delta fly in Safari

DaysActivitiesStay
1Fly into Maun Light aircraft connect to Nxai Pan National Park: One of the undiscovered gems of Botswana. 

Activities here include game drives and nature walks with the Bushmen.
Nxai Pan National Park
2An early wake-up and breakfast ensures you are ready for the adventures of the day.  Knowledgeable guides will share their passion of the area with you.

A waterhole in front of the bush camp provides excellent viewing during the hot hours of the day when the animals come down to slake their thirst. 

The afternoon activity will allow you to explore the area in greater depth before sundowners and dinner at the bush camp.
Nxai Pan National Park
3Fly to the Okavango Delta.  The difference between the 2 areas is so dramatic that it is like arriving on a new continent.
 You will spend the next 2 nights here marvelling at the intricacies of this special wilderness. There will be time this afternoon for a game drive before sundowners and dinner. All meals included.
Okavango Delta lodge
4An early morning wake-up call will signal a day of many new sights and amazing experiences.  Choose to do a game drive, a walk or a boat cruise before returning to the camp for brunch. 

Afternoon tea will be served on the deck before you depart on your evening activity which may be a canoe ride or an evening/night drive.
Okavango Delta lodge
5Fly in & arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon activity to experience wildlife that has been described by many as some of the best in Africa. 

A sundowner at the river’s edge is truly a memorable experience.
Linyanti Concession luxury tents
6The day starts early: Predator interaction is some of the best you will see and the area is known for its population of the highly endangered African wild dog.

Evening game drives add something extra to an already spectacular African experience.
Linyanti Concession luxury tents
7Flight to Maun to catch a connecting flight home

7-day Nxai Pan, Okavango & Linyanti fly in safari

DaysActivitiesStay
1-2Arrive Maun and Fly to Moremi Mokoro rides, walking safaris as well as one game drive daily. 

Morning and afternoon game activities. All meals incl.
Moremi Crossing Camp for 2 Nights
3-5Fly 20 mins to Rra Dinare Camp for 3 Nights Day and night game drives, mokoro and possibly walking safaris. 

Private concession ‘off road’ on game drives to get close to the animals. All meals included.
Dinare Camp luxury tents
6Fly to Maun for onward flight

FAQs

What is a fly in safari?

If you choose to fly from one park to another while on safari, this is called a fly-in safari. This is the perfect way to explore different parts of country without struggling through dusty or potholed roads. You also get to see much more in less time.

Why go on a fly-in safari?

Fly-in safaris are recommended for those with short safari timeframes looking to make the most of their time viewing wildlife in the country.

How much does a fly in Botswana safari cost?

Prices for a Botswana fly-in safari start at around US$500 per person per night in the low season in mid-range lodgings, but go up to about US$1500 – US2,000 per person per night in luxury accommodation in the high season.